Sex on the Beach—or Not
Explore fresh horizons, explore each other and the sex will follow.
I believe that immediately upon arrival someplace new, you must dive or jump or somehow dunk your head under water, be it lake, ocean or hotel pool.
This is a ritual of renewal I swiped from an old friend, the experiential art curator Natalie Kovacs, a woman who wears the word kook with great aplomb. Natko, who quite romantically spends her life wandering the world in search of truth and beauty, wears her birthday suit to wash off the old and welcome the new and the next. Nudity is optional: the important bit is the commitment to starting fresh.
Vacations are a way to stop the merry-go-round and reflect, to carve markers into time as it tumbles past. That said, it is a lot of weight for a getaway to bear, especially when you add in expectations about sex.
Yes, wearing fewer items of clothing (none of them with collar stays or Spanx) can lead to honeymoon-style enthusiasms. You are off the clock, hopefully off the smartphones, there are no chores in the job jar, there has likely been close attention paid to waxes and pedicures and such and you are somewhere in paradise conducive to romance.
“If you have better sex on a vacation than at home, I think it is a sign that there are good things in the relationship and you just haven’t been prioritizing sex enough at home,” says Bianca Rucker, a sex and relationship therapist who practises in Vancouver.
“If you don’t have better sex on vacation, it might point to more serious issues in the relationship. For example, if a couple is not emotionally connected enough or there are resentments, then sex may be a ‘No’ on vacation.”
If you are one half of an unconnected couple, all is not lost, says Rucker, who recommends starting the vacation early. “A couple can talk about what they are looking forward to in a sexual way before they leave. This will help with getting on the same page in terms of what each is imagining. I suggest that couples use the phrase, ‘I would like …’ as a positive way to each express themselves.” Many of the reasons for being stuck may be changeable with attention and effort (whether it be personal growth or addressing medical or hormonal issues).
Getting out of town can be a tonic for an out-of-synch relationship, says Dr. David McKenzie, also a Vancouver-based sex therapist. He cites New York-based Belgian writer Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, and her concept of using a change of physical context to rejuvenate passion.